The Wildlife Photographer of the Year competition begins its global search for the best visions of nature this week.
This year the competition is being sponsored by Veolia Environnement, a world leader in environmental services, and will be known as ‘Veolia Environnement Wildlife Photographer of the Year 2009’.
The 2008 contest attracted a record 32,351 entries from 82 countries and the winning images are currently on exhibition at the Natural History Museum.
Soft-coral community by David Hall from the 2008 Wildlife Photographer of the Year Competition
Chair of the judging panel, zoologist, writer and photographer, Mark Carwardine said ‘Each year this great showcase for photographers raises the bar for innovative nature photography and plays an increasingly crucial role in provoking awareness of wildlife conservation’.
CEO of Veolia Environmental Services (UK) Plc Jean-Dominique Mallet said ‘Veolia Environnement works with businesses, communities and governments to minimise our daily impact on the environment.'
'It is therefore our privilege to sponsor a competition that features the world’s best wildlife photography and puts into clear focus the beauty and richness of nature which we all have a communal responsibility to protect.’
‘It’s not what you photograph – it’s the way you do it,' says Mark.
'Pictures of common or familiar species, close to home, stand just as much chance of winning as pictures of more exotic or rare ones.'
'I’d particularly like to urge professional and keen amateur photographers to consider the Urban and Garden Wildlife category. It’s often overlooked, but our gardens and parks provide most of us with our best access to photographing wild animals and plants.’